Fiscal Sponsorship

What is fiscal sponsorship?

An existing nonprofit offers its services, support, and tax-exempt status to a person, community group, or collaborative that wants to create a new program, build community movement, launch an initiative or otherwise affect change for the common good. It’s a mechanism to support people and organizations in creating new projects without the need to create new nonprofits. Nonprofits are able to act as fiscal sponsors for projects that share a similar mission and
purpose. Fiscal sponsors can offer a variety of services, from receipt of grants and charitable donations to technical assistance with project development.
Fiscal sponsors are legally and financially responsible for the projects they support.

It’s important for there to be a contract between the project and the sponsor, outlining each party’s commitments and responsibilities. There is often a fee associated with fiscal sponsorship, which should also be documented in the contract.

Local organizations with fiscal sponsorship programs:

The Ink People’s DreamMaker Program- self-directing projects created by people who have a dream of making the community a better place through art. The Ink People offers administrative support and technical assistance to community projects “adopted” into their nonprofit family.
HSU’s Office of Research & Sponsored Programs
Trees Foundation – support for community-based conservation and restoration projects.

Learn more about how to make a fiscal sponsorship work for you:

  1. Council of Nonprofits – Fiscal Sponsorship for Nonprofits
    The Council of Nonprofits provides a comprehensive guide to fiscal sponsorship for nonprofits. Their article on fiscal sponsorship covers various aspects, including administration, financial management, and the benefits of engaging in such partnerships. Visit link to learn more.
  2. Nonprofit Quarterly – A Balanced Overview of Fiscal Sponsorship
    Nonprofit Quarterly offers a balanced overview of fiscal sponsorship, highlighting both the advantages and potential challenges of this arrangement. Their article provides insights into why organizations might opt for fiscal sponsorship and what factors to consider before entering such a partnership. Read more at link.
  3. Nolo – The Pros and Cons of Fiscal Sponsorship for Nonprofits
    Nolo, a trusted legal resource, presents a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of fiscal sponsorship. This article offers valuable information for nonprofits weighing the benefits and drawbacks of this approach, helping them make informed decisions. Explore the content at link.
  4. Candid Learning – Knowledge Base on Fiscal Sponsorship
    Candid Learning’s knowledge base provides a wealth of resources on various topics, including fiscal sponsorship. Their page on fiscal sponsorship offers insights into how the arrangement works, the types of projects that can benefit, and what both parties should consider before entering into such an agreement. Dive into the knowledge base at link.
  5. Alder and Covin A San Francisco based law firm dedicated to serving nonprofits. They have many years of experience fostering fiscal sponsorship relationships and agreements, and wrote the book, Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways to Do It Right, which is available to check out free of charge in HAF’s Nonprofit Resource Center library.
  6. Fiscal Sponsorship Directory A searchable database of fiscal sponsor organizations across the country.
  7. News, information, FAQs, and resources on fiscal sponsorship.
  8. is a great resource for information on fiscal sponsorship, including overviews on what makes a successful partnership and sample policies.
  9. Tides A San Francisco based organization that provides a comprehensive range of fiscal sponsorship services.

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